Contact:502-724-1845Email: erica (at) quillandinkfreelance.com
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Fundraising, Press Releases, Marketing Copy, Business-to-business
There is free money everywhere—if you have time, patience and a good idea. If you’ve got these things, you can make it rain on your project. Although, sometimes even a sprinkle is better than nothing.
The world of grants funding is one familiar to students, artists, and activists but often those who exist and work outside of these categories don’t realize that there is probably grant funding for most anything. If you play sports, want to start a business, or need money to seed an idea there is probably a grant that can assist you. If you are a woman or a woman-centric organization, grant makers are searching for you.
When applying for grants there are steps to take in preparation:
- What do you need money for?
- What are your project requirements? (Money, Supplies, Mentorship, Staff)
- Develop your idea. (Draft, Proof/Edit/Revise, Draft, Edit, Draft. It’s a great idea to have a second set of eyes here.)
- Who is offering the scratch? Search grant sites and match your idea to a granting organization. Does it fit their criteria? What kinds of projects have they funded? What are they seeking? What are the rules for the use of grant funds? How much reporting is involved? How much information to they need? Is there an interview? Is there an application fee?
- Begin the application process if you meet their criteria and can complete the application in total and EXACTLY as they request it. This is my golden rule for grant applications: Do unto the grant application exactly what is asked. Follow their directions to the letter. Grant applications are not times to be cute or to rush. Take your time and do it correctly. Be organized and use the writing/revision process to your advantage.
- When you think you are complete, check it again. Then check again and when you are ready….
- Apply and exhale. It’s not up to you at that point and that’s ok.
What happens if you get an award?
1. Get clarification on any questions from the organization and Get to Work.
Here are a few sites to get you started. These are specifically geared towards women’s ideas and projects though some of the aggregate sites have more info.
Aggregates (These contain links to many granting organizations):
http://www.justice.gov/ovw/grant-programs ( social justice for states and non-profits)
http://www.artheals.org/artist-support/art_grants.html (healing art)
http://www.awesomefoundation.org/ (awesome ideas)
https://www.macysinc.com/community/grant-information/foundation-grants/default.aspx (support for organizations)
https://www.pittsburghartscouncil.org/isart/1603 (AA specific and arts)
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/list-grants-africanamerican-women-start-business-15618.html (African American specific)
http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/topfunders/top50giving.html (big corporate givers with links to their foundations)
About the Author:
Erica Rucker is a professional freelance writer who also teaches composition and business writing at Indiana University Southeast. Her work can be found regularly in LEO Weekly and has appeared in The Ptolemaic Terrascope, The Guide, Foxy Digitalis and more recently Insider Louisville and Norton Healthcare’s Get Healthy magazine. You can follow Erica on Twitter @ericaerucker but beware of honesty, occasional outrage, and strong geekery.
Connect, Cultivate, Appreciate: The Art of Building Relationships (Blog post for New Age Communications-Louisville)
As human beings nothing is of greater importance than our web of relationships. From the first bonds with our families to first loves, and eventually our business dealings, we grow and succeed through the cultivation of solid associations. As part of a growing company, New Age Communications—also known as NAC— We’ve learned a lot about how solid business relationships make a difference. “All relationships have been a source of learning for NAC. Some lessons have better prepared us for growth and led to more business, other lessons have taught us the type of business opportunities we do not want.
Relationships are not always perfect, just as humans are also—not perfect. Not letting negative experiences put a damper on the importance of relationships is our goal. When fortifying partnerships is the goal, understand that the best are built on foundations of strong trust. The more people feel confident in one’s honesty and consistency, the likelier they are to feel the same way about that person overall.
NAC’s CEO Tawana Bain says, “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that all partnerships should set everyone up for success. You’ll know when this is the case– when it feels good to everyone.”
There are many ways to foster constructive relations while encouraging personal and professional success. Here are a few that we find important:
1. Give. Be open to giving equally as much as receiving.
2. Communicate Value. Realize that relationships are not just about ourselves, but how we care for and invest in others. Helping those around us—as we pursue our passions—is a sure way to build lasting and significant connections.
3. Be Authentic. Making sure actions and words fall in line is another integral part of building the trust relationship. An assessment of personal agendas is a great way to check authenticity. Are we who we say we are? We should be.
4. Respect Diversity. The strongest teams have differences that bring value to the relationships. Making sure to surround yourself with people who are not mirror images is an important component of creating strong bonds and rich interactions. We are drawn to those who challenge us in a good way.
5. Connect. Conversion is key in business. Turning an introduction into more requires that above all else, we connect. Taking time to reach out is essential.
6. Appreciate. Keeping our partnerships fluid takes feedback. Don’t assume that friends, family, or clients are aware of how much they’re appreciated. A handwritten note or a box of chocolates is a great way of shoring up alliances and make someone else feel necessary.
To connect—cultivate and appreciate —the valuable, authentic, and diverse relationships is to make an investment in the future. We rarely know who will enrich our personal and business lives.
If you are building your new resume be sure to make the language active and strong. There are many online resources to help with resume building and I’ve gathered a brief list for you here. If you need further assistance with your resume or just need someone to look it over feel free to get in touch. One of the courses I teach, Business and Professional Writing Skills, works heavily on building strong resumes so that students leave with a solid working resume to share with potential employers.
Resume writing resource list:
- Owl at Purdue: Resumes and Vitas
- Rockport Institute: Resume Writing
- Myfuture.com-Creating your Resume
Don’t forget to pay special attention to your cover letter. This can be the key to getting the attention of Human Resources. It’s also your chance to really “talk” to them before they look over your resume.
Cover Letter Resources:
One of the things I tell all of my students is to send a resume by mail, even if they have submitted online. Put that resume on special resume linen paper and get noticed. We live in a world where we do almost everything electronically. Sometimes the old, “analog” method gets the most attention.
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